SCOTLAND picked up their third win from four matches during this Autumn schedule, scoring four tries to Japan’s one, but they will not be entirely satisfied with how this match played out. 

The home side generally struggled to keep control of possession for long enough to really stress their opponents, and their indiscipline meant that Japan were able to stay in touch on the scoreboard throughout. 

The highlight was Stuart Hogg’s try, which took his total in a Scotland jersey to 25, putting him ahead of Ian Smith from the 1930s and Tony Stanger from the 1990s as the nation's most prolific try-scorer of all-time. 

Scotland drew first blood when Duhan van der Merwe joined the forwards after a line-out five yards from the Japan line and rumbled over. 

Finn Russell's conversion came back off the post, and then a sequence of penalties conceded by the hosts gifted Japan a quick route back into the match, handing Rikiya Matsuda a fairly straight-forward shot at goal which he gobbled up. 

The lesson was not learnt, and after two more not-rolling-away penalties, Matsuda found himself lining up another shot at goal on the quarter-hour mark, although he wasn't successful this time with his effort from wide on the right this time. 

Scott Cummings was the next penalty culprit and Matsuda was back on target, helping himself to three more easy points from almost directly in front of the posts to edge the visitors ahead 

It had been frustrating first 25 minutes for the home side and their supporters, but then Hogg brought Murrayfield to life when he ran the ball back from deep, then finished the move off after a handful of forceful phases had pulled the Japanese backline all out of shape. It was a special moment for a player who is still only 29, so has time on his side to add a few more tries to his tally. 

Scotland finished the half with a flourish when a set-move off a scrum on the left saw Russell sweep outside his centres then feed Darcy Graham with a miss-two pass through the eye of a needle, and the winger jinked back inside Japan's scrambling defence to score. Russell added the touchline conversion for good measure. 

Scotland’s indiscipline continued at the start of the second half, and referee Brendon Pickerill finally lost patience, sending Jamie Bhatti to the sin-bin after he ended up on the wrong side of a tackle right in front of his own posts. Matsuda once again kicked the easy points. 

Buoyed by this, Japan pushed on. Second-row Jack Cornelsen sent prop Craig Millar on a charge up the middle of the park, and Kotaro Matsushima went close on the right before play was pulled back for a Scots offside and Matsuda made it 19-12. 

Scotland managed to survive the remainder of that period with 14-men without conceding any more points, and no sooner had they been restored to full complement than replacement hooker Stuart McInally was getting the ball down off the back of a close-range line-out maul. 

But still Japan would not lie down, and an excellent 50-22 from Ryoto Nakamura earned a close-range line-out. The visitors did well to win the ball under pressure, and replacement back-row Tevita Tatafu burst off the back of the maul and powered home. 

When a Sam Johnson offside with 10 minutes to go allowed Matsuda to kick his fifth penalty of the afternoon, it was back to a six-point game, which really wasn't great from a Scotland perspective given that they were 4-1 up in the try-count and hadn't really been under the sort of pressure to justify the avalanche of penalties they had conceded. 

With two minutes to go, Scotland opted to kick a penalty rather than go for the corner, and Russell bisected the posts. It sealed the win but highlighted that the home side had not got to where they wanted to be during this contest. 

Scotland: S Hogg; D Graham (B Kinghorn 63), C Harris, S Johnson, D van der Merwe; F Russell , A Price (G Horne, 61); J Bhatti (P Schoeman 53), G Turner (S McInally 53), Z Fagerson (J Sebastian 63), S Cummings (S Skinner 71), G Gilchrist, J Ritchie (M Fagerson 61), H Watson (P Schoeman 49-53, D Richardson 71), J Bayliss. 

Japan: R Yamanka (Y Tamura 61); K Matsushima, S Nakano (D Riley 41), R Nakamura, S Fifita; R Matsuda, Y Nagare (N Saito 71); C Millar (K Inagaki 61), A Sakate, A Valu (S Kakinaga 61), J Cornelsen, J Moore, M Leitch (T Tatafu 61), P Labuschagne, K Himeno.

Scotland: Tries: Van der Merwe, Hogg; Graham, McInally; Cons: Russell 3; Pen: Russell. 

Wales: Try: Tatafu; Pen: Matsuda 5. 

Scoring sequence (Scotland first)
5-0; 5-3; 5-6; 10-6; 12-6; 17-6; 19-6 (h-t) 19-9; 19-12; 24-12; 26-12; 26-17;  26-20; 29-20. 

Yellow cards 
Scotland: Bhatti (42mins)